WASHINGTON, DC — The House of Representatives Thursday passed H.R. 5, the Equality Act, to ensure that all LGBTQ Americans are granted the full protections guaranteed by federal civil rights law. The bipartisan bill included U.S. Congressman Josh Gottheimer’s (NJ-5) legislation, the Freedom from Discrimination in Credit Act (FDCA), to amend the Equal Credit Opportunity Act to prohibit credit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
“All Americans should be free to pursue their dreams, whether that be buying a home, starting a business, or continuing their education. New Jersey is a leader in making certain that the LGBTQ community has fair access to credit, and I am proud to lead this legislation to make it the law of the land,” said Gottheimer, a member of the LGBTQ Equality Caucus. “To build on the progress we’ve already made, I’m proud to help pass the bipartisan Equality Act today, to finally, fully end discrimination against LGBTQ Americans once and for all.”
Fifteen states, including New Jersey, prohibit credit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, but there is currently no federal law that protects LGBTQ individuals from credit discrimination. As a result, in thirty-five states, LGBTQ people can still be denied a mortgage, credit card, student loan or other type of lending simply because of who they are. The FDCA would prohibit credit discrimination against all LGBTQ individuals.
The bipartisan Equality Act has overwhelming support from the American people — 70 percent of whom favor the bill’s discrimination protections — as well as robust support from the business community, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and hundreds of leading businesses and corporations that recognize that the strength of our economy and our society requires equal protection under the law.
The Freedom from Discrimination in Credit Act — included within the Equality Act that passed the House today — has been endorsed by the Human Rights Campaign, National Center for Transgender Equality, National Center for Lesbian Rights, National Gay and Lesbian Taskforce, National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce, and Credit Union National Association.